Ripple Company has completed separate partnership agreements for its Blockchain last week. Saudi Arabia’s central bank and popular money transfer company, Western Union, both agreed to Ripple Blockchain trials.
Western Union set for XRP-based Trial
Money transfer giants, Western Union announced on Tuesday that it will start a Ripple-based Blockchain trial. This announcement confirmed rumors last month that both companies were in talks to start a blockchain trial. The company first partnered with Ripple in 2015.
Western Union’s CEO Hikmet Ersek told Bloomberg that they “are looking especially in the processing settlement and working capital optimization, also in the regulation part, on the compliance part on the blockchain capabilities,” He also confirmed that they “have some tests with Ripple.”
With MoneyGram’s trial of Ripple’s xRapid last month, the company now serves two of the biggest money transfer companies. This development raises hopes for more blockchain and cryptocurrency acceptance. Ripple’s xRapid uses its native XRP cryptocurrency in payment flows.
Saudi Arabia’s Central Bank to Adopt Ripple’s Blockchain Solution
Ripple announced on their website that it entered a partnership with Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) which will help banks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) improve their payments infrastructure using Ripple’s xCurrent.
The program—referred to as the first of its kind—will provide more transparency, improve speed and lower fees for transactions in and out of the KSA.
— Dilip Rao (@diliprao) February 14, 2018
Ripple is known for its instant cross-border payment solutions which include the RippleNet and its enterprise solution, xCurrent. With this arrangement, SAMA will join more than 100 financial institutions already using Ripple solutions for end-to-end tracking and payment settlements.
Increased Blockchain adoption by Central Banks
SAMA is now the second central bank to apply Ripple’s blockchain technology for payments, after the Bank of England. The English Bank successfully tested a protocol by Ripple and Interledger. Ripple’s global head of Infrastructure Innovation, Dilip Rao commented that “Central banks around the world are leaning into blockchain technology in recognition of how it can transform cross-border payments, resulting in lower barriers to trade and commerce for both corporates and consumers,”
Ripple backing for Blockchain regulation
I an interview with Bloomberg, Ripple’s Chief Executive, Brad Garlinghouse agreed with calls for Blockchain regulations. He explained that Ripple already provides solutions to regulated financial institutions including the Bank of England and SAMA. Therefore, essentials like KYC (Know Your Customer) and Anti-money laundry requirements should be followed. He argued those against a regulated Blockchain ecosystem weren’t considering the long-term benefit of blockchain.